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Coping with the loss of smell and taste

October 19, 2020

About the Author

photo of Leo Newhouse, LICSW

Leo Newhouse, LICSW, Contributor

Leo Newhouse, LICSW, is a Senior Social Worker in Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). In this capacity, he works with patients and families coping with life-limiting illness, aging, and loss. In his spare … See Full Bio
View all posts by Leo Newhouse, LICSW


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Jeffrey Koch
October 27, 2020

Apparently due to chronic sinus infections in my youth, the combination of antibiotic treatments and four sinus surgeries, and the effects of a lifetime of surfing, my sense of smell and taste left me six years ago. A specialist otolarynologist confirmed my condition and now everything tastes the same except for exceptionally bitter Russian imperial Stouts which I can sort of detect. It has been an adjustment to be sure but it’s OK and I feel very lucky that I am otherwise very healthy. I have to rely on my wife to alert me to obnoxious smells and I have to be careful to make sure that food is fresh because I can’t detect if it’s spoiled. But my other senses seem to be enhanced perhaps as a way of compensation. And I still like foods that are crunchy because of the tactile sensation. All in all, my lack of smell and taste is a pity but not a tragedy and just another of life’s adjustments.

October 27, 2020

Lost my sense of both for a year now. Told my Dr last Nov and she just said, yes , anomosia. But never said what to do about it. I’ve tried to remember what it tastes like or smells like but it’s getting worse. Once in a blue moon I get a whiff or a small taste. Have lost 35 lbs so far. That’s a good thing, yes? Guess it’s not coming back.

Nyle Shoaib
October 21, 2020

I have not been able to taste or smell for 7 months and lost 14 kg so I just now I have learned to be patient and stay healthy

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